There are so many times in my life where something happens and it seems like I’ve somehow ended up on another similar, but adjacent timeline. Certain things seem slightly off, the air smells a little different. There’s an underlying hope that maybe this timeline is better. On Norah Lorway’s second album for Distant Bloom, Another World, she taps into those ideas and sets off on an enticing aural journey.
From the opening concave drones of the title track, Lorway drifts across a subterranean arc toward a beacon. The tonal palette is massive, like an underwater river washing through cavernous spaces, grinding and echoing into oblivion. Far below the surface, though, are melodic passages pushing against the resonance, trying to escape. It’s a lovely representation of something present throughout Another World where different timbral patterns intersect and create deeper sonic spaces to explore.
“luna” walks a serrated edge where there’s an endless void on either side. Precise swells glide forward, a progressively-rising esplanade where alien voices coalesce into prismatic soundshapes. The outside might be rough, but within lies, a warm, melodic heart inviting anyone lost to stop and rest. Rolling headfirst into “hold,” the world becomes more alien and playful. Repeating passages build into hypnotic sledgehammers where the incredible impact is only felt long after the collision occurs. Static shimmers on top of electrical wire, distinct signals that the universe has shifted, but the outcome remains unclear.
Norah Lorway’s Another World is the sound of life set adrift, unmoored from familiar touchstones and routines, missing in a strange ether. As the album moves unhurriedly toward a distant destination on “what power will save us,” the loops stretch out in an effort to hold back the inevitable realization that even on another dimension, the lost days and isolation will still creep in and find ways to overtake the staunchest forms of resistance.
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